travelbyus Inc., in a joint venture with Malcolm Wright, Principal of American Leisure, Inc., has acquired the assets of Med Resorts International, Inc. under terms of an order entered by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Med Resorts had been in receivership since August 2000.
The court selected the travelbyus/Malcolm Wright proposal as the one most likely to preserve value for the company`s vacation club members. The asset package includes resorts, real estate properties, vacation club operations and a vacation club membership base of up to 36,000.
Under the agreement, travelbyus and Mr. Wright together committed a total of $3 million for a 41.25% each ownership share in American Vacation Resorts, Inc. - the Florida Corporation through which they acquired the assets of Med Resorts. American Leisure has assigned its rights under the asset acquisition to American Vacation Resorts. The remaining 17.5% of the company will be reserved for distribution to key employees of Med Resorts over a four-year equity participation program.
Mr. Wright, a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years experience in the time-share and vacation resorts industries in the United States and Europe, will head American Vacations Resorts. The Med Resorts vacation inventory includes three company-owned resort properties and numerous other vacation accommodations in the U.S. for a total availability of more than 15,000 vacation club interval weeks. American Vacations Resorts also has access to properties throughout Europe and the Caribbean.
The travelbyus/Malcolm Wright joint venture gains an estimated $20 million in real estate and other real fixed assets and, depending upon member retention, up to $33 million in operating receivables. The new joint venture assumes approximately $7.5 million in secured debt.
travelbyus wholly-owned subsidiaries - Cheap Seats, Mr. Cheaps, Hawaii Leisure and Global Leisure - will immediately offer Med Resort members greater benefits and reduced travel prices. Kerby said that the company will establish a Cheap Seats operation and cruise department in the Med Resort headquarters in Clearwater, FL. Members will gain access to the travelbyus technology, services and affiliate travel agencies.
In addition to its online travelbyus.com presence, the company includes approximately 2700 member affiliate travel agencies operating as International Tours, GalaxSea Cruises and BTS Systems. A “1-800-itravel” call centre provides direct customer service and is a vital part of the Company`s “Click. Call. Come In” service model.
The travelbyus business model was designed not to compete with, but to enhance the capabilities and services of travel agents who still account for about 90% of leisure travel bookings.
travelbyus technological acquisitions include Echo (formerly SiteRabbit), a patent-pending business-to-business system that provides agent-customised websites with links to the central travelbyus site. The Company also owns the ERA booking engine, which has significant timeshare and vacation package booking capabilities. The ITA Software system low fare search engine that travelbyus uses has “consistently turned up the lowest fares and most flight choices,” according to Kiplinger`s Magazine.